The Pincus Deposition

Earlier in June, it was revealed that a number of people had been subpoenaed in the NRA’s lawsuit against Ackerman McQueen. While most of those who received a subpoena were NRA Board of Director members, trainer and activist Rob Pincus was also served. Ostensibly, the subpoenas were to find out who leaked information such as the bills from Ackerman McQueen regarding Wayne LaPierre’s clothing purchases, Oliver North and Richard Childress’ letter regarding outside counsel William Brewer III, and other such information.

Yesterday, Rob gave his deposition in the case to attorneys representing both the NRA and Ackerman McQueen.

He noted this on Facebook about his testimony in the deposition yesterday.

As I’ve said many times, I wasn’t involved in any “leaks” and I don’t know who was. Now that is part of the court record… officially. After consider time, effort and expense.

The NRA sent a team of lawyers from VA & TX and hired a local videographer and court reporter.
They sent them to one of the most remote locations in the Continental US and rented the town hall for the proceedings.
I walked over with my daughter and she hung out with the local pre-schoolers and a friend while the deposition took place.

I had offered to provide the documents that revealed pretty clearly when I first encountered the (already public) documents and save everyone a lot of time and money. The NRA Attorney’s wanted to do this today. Ackerman’s attorneys attended via phone line and video feed.

The location was Silverton, population 630, which is the county seat of San Juan County, Colorado. In other words, it was a long way from the big city. Or even any city.

Rob was gracious enough this morning to spend 20 minutes on the phone with me providing an after-action report. We discussed a number of things in the conversation including the why of the subpoena, what he thought they were trying to find, the cost to him, the monetary costs incurred by the NRA ‘s lawyers, and more.

The deposition took five hours, two attorneys for the NRA, a court reporter who had to travel from Denver, a videographer from Durango, and an expensive video conference hook-up so that the Ackerman McQueen attorneys could participate. Rob estimated that the costs ran upwards of $20,000 before you begin to figure in the attorneys’ billable hours. It was also very needless as Rob had made a good faith offer to provide all documentation and a sworn statement on what he knew. This offer was rejected by the lawyers representing the NRA.

As Rob travels often, the date could have been adjusted so that the deposition could have taken place in a more convenient and more cost effective location for the NRA and AckMac. The attorneys for AckMac noted in the meeting for the deposition that there was no reason to rush the process as it was early in discovery and no trial date had been set. Nonetheless, the lawyers for the NRA were insistent that the deposition be taken on June 28th as it appears they were more interested in speed. Rob believes that they were more interested in finding “the leak” than they were in the case itself.

The attorneys for the NRA, Robert Cox of Briglia Hundley and Michael J. Collins of Brewer Attorneys, admitted that Rob had not been properly served with the subpoena. As such, he appeared voluntarily at this deposition. In his opinion, the subpoena itself was an abuse of the discovery process meant as a fishing expedition and was meant to intimidate Rob as he has been a vocal critic of Wayne and the “Old Guard”.

I asked Rob about the costs to him both financially and emotionally. The financial costs were the distraction from his training and other businesses plus the lost productivity. The emotional costs were much higher. He had heard horror stories from friends about what to expect so he was very wary going into the deposition. Rob found that a number of people who had been talking with him before the subpoena suddenly stopped post-subpoena. Fortunately, he found the deposition “went far better than it could have with the lawyers” as they were professional, polite, and focused on the issues.

Rob wanted the following things highlighted.

  1. The deposition established nothing was leaked to Rob, nothing was stolen, and that everything he as received was in the public domain.
  2. He appeared voluntarily. As noted above, he was not properly served.
  3. He had nothing to hide.
  4. While subpoenaed by the attorneys for the NRA, he was critical of both sides in the case. 
Rob has told me that he will have video excerpts on the deposition available later today. I will post them as they become available.
I want to thank Rob again for taking the time out of his morning and out of his time with Baby Pincus to talk with me about the deposition.

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